The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

February 2007 Archive

February 01, 2007

Just a brief reminder that I will be reading at Friday's (tomorrow's) Labyrinth Open Mic at Café Kafka, Capistrangasse 8, 1060 Vienna (starts around 8:30pm).

Most likely I'll be reading from "The Happiest Guy in the World". You'll also be able to buy signed or unsigned copies of the book (at the usual discount).

Posted by Horst at 08:14 PM | Comments (4)

February 15, 2007

At the concert, they had, among other things, a bass saxophone, which is a huge tubey thing about twice the size of the saxophone player with long, long tubes that wind around the whole thing two or three times. The sound comes out at the top end of the thing. The way it was played it sounded like deep, sustained farting noises, which were played into an overhead microphone. The tuba player also had an overhead microphone, and he made sounds like I've never heard out of a tuba. At one point it sounded like someone stepping on a a couple of hamsters, and I mean the squeaking and the crunching noises.

When they had finished, there was frenetic applause from the audience. it was the kind of moment where you ask yourself which percentage of those present actually liked what they had heard, and how many only applauded because the artist was this really famous guy.

The violin player looked unhappy. She looked unhappy while she was playing, and when the band received the frenetic applause, it seemed as if she didn't really believe it. I got the suspicion that possibly the drummer was her boyfriend, and that's why she played in that band, but perhaps she was enjoying herself and just couldn't show it all that well.

I kind of liked her. I think she was pretty. I also liked the concert, though it was really weird. Afterwards, I thought about putting John Coltrane's Om on my stereo to relax a bit. Then I realized I don't have that album, so I settled for something else.

My brain still hurts.

Posted by Horst at 01:42 AM | Comments (8)

February 23, 2007

In the 20 years or so that I've bought and unpacked compact discs, I have repeatedly asked myself whether it is possible for a compact disc to become so stuck on its tray that you can actually break it while trying to remove it. So far, however, all CDs that I've tried to take out of their box, even those that seemed to be dangerously stuck, have shown a remarkable elasticity.

Today, however, I learned that CDs can indeed break apart, very much like knäckebröd in fact, right through the middle, into two halves of roughly the same size, and even emit knäckebröd-like breaking sounds in the process.

It was the crowning achievement of a whole week of customer dissatisfaction, during which I had to return no fewer than five items to their respective sales points because they were either broken or damaged; that's more in one week than I returned during the whole of the past 10 years. I only hope it's a spell that passes soon.

During this week I also received an Amazon order. In the box, I found an empty fat jewel case for 2CDs with a note on which they apologized that the jewel case of one of the items they sent me was broken and they were including this empty jewel box to compensate for it.

The funny thing was, none of the CD cases with CDs in them was broken, but the extra empty one they sent me was.

My only explanation for this phenomenon that does not involve time travel or an intervention from a parallel universe is that they expected one of the jewel cases in the order to break during shipping, because these things often do, and simply included the extra case as a matter of pre-emptive customer service, and ironically, it was the extra case that took the hit.

A shop assistant at a record shop where I got a replacement for an unplayable, totally fogged CD today told me she had had a significantly higher number of defective items this week. I told her about my week of broken items and how a CD cracked into two halves in my hand earlier today, and she said, "well yes, that also happens to us a lot."

Posted by Horst at 07:29 PM | Comments (2)

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